Cockroaches are one of the most common and challenging indoor pest insects. They feed on a variety of human and pet food and can leave their waste behind as contamination. They can also passively transport pathogens on their body surfaces including those that are potentially dangerous to humans, particularly in food servicing establishments. Cockroaches are very resilient and possess some very unique behavior, traits and survival tactics which make them true survivors.
Here are 5 of the most fascinating and terrifying cockroach facts:
1. Cockroaches are scavengers and will eat anything they can find; they can live off a leather belt if they have to. No food, no problem! Cockroaches can survive a remarkably long time without food. Some species can go without eating for a month.
2. Cockroaches can hold their breath for 40 minutes, and can even survive being submerged under water for half an hour. They hold their breath often to help regulate their loss of water.
3. A cockroach can live for a week without its head. Due to their open circulatory system, and the fact that they breathe through little holes in each of their body segments, they are not dependent on the mouth or head to breathe. The roach only dies because without a mouth, it can’t drink water and dies of thirst.
4. Cockroaches can run up to three miles in an hour. A one-day-old baby cockroach, which is about the size of a speck of dust, can run almost as fast as its parents. Believe it or not, there are organized cockroach racing contests as club activities throughout the world.
5. Cockroaches are believed to have walked the Earth for 280 million years, much older than the dinosaurs.